Sialadenitis is a rare condition that occurs when the salivary glands, the organs that create saliva, become inflamed. Saliva production is vital -- it moistens food during chewing and makes it easier to swallow. It also helps begin digestion and protects the teeth. Some cases of sialadenitis come on suddenly (acute sialadenitis); in other people, the condition is long-lasting or recurring throughout their lives.
There are three salivary glands in the mouth. The parotid salivary glands reside in the cheeks, just in front of the ears. Submandibular glands are beneath the chin. The sublingual glands are under the tongue and are the least likely to become inflamed.
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